Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 263–266

Low Concentrations of Salicylic Acid Stimulate Insect Elicitor Responses in Zea mays Seedlings

  • Jurgen Engelberth
  • Sriram Viswanathan
  • Marie Jeanette Engelberth
Rapid Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s10886-011-9926-3

Cite this article as:
Engelberth, J., Viswanathan, S. & Engelberth, M.J. J Chem Ecol (2011) 37: 263. doi:10.1007/s10886-011-9926-3

Abstract

Salicylic acid (SA) generally is thought to suppress jasmonic acid (JA) related signaling events. However, when we treated the roots of corn seedlings overnight with low physiological concentrations of SA (50 μM), we found a priming effect of this pretreatment on typical insect elicitor (IE)-induced responses in the leaves of these plants. IE-induced JA was more than 2-fold up regulated in SA-pretreated plants. Consequently, IE-induced volatile organic compounds (VOC) release also was significantly increased. In contrast, when corn seedlings were treated with SA overnight and then mechanically damaged, we found no significant differences in JA accumulation. We also found that the application of even lower concentrations of SA (5 μM) had no significant effect on IE-induced responses, while higher concentrations (500 μM) inhibited IE-induced JA accumulation. Likewise, shorter exposure to SA did not affect subsequent JA accumulation induced by IE or mechanical wounding. These results provide evidence for the existence of non-compatible defense priming by signaling molecules that usually are involved in a conflictive defense signaling pathway and suggests common elements in the regulation of priming plant defense responses.

Key Words

Jasmonic acid Salicylic acid Insect elicitors N-linolenoyl-glutamine Priming Volatiles 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jurgen Engelberth
    • 1
  • Sriram Viswanathan
    • 1
  • Marie Jeanette Engelberth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department BiologyUniversity of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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